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CATS Cuts Some Bus Routes, Adds Others After Blue Line Extension Opens

CATS has cut some bus routes and added others so fewer riders have to pass through the Transit Center uptown.
Charlotte Area Transit System
CATS has cut some bus routes and added others so fewer riders have to pass through the Transit Center uptown.

With last week's opening of the Lynx Blue Line Extension, Charlotte Area Transit System on Monday discontinued some bus routes and revised others so they connect with the light rail.

The changes include several new cross-town routes and schedules that connect with the Lynx Blue Line light rail extension (blue line).
Credit Charlotte Area Transit System
The changes include several new cross-town routes and schedules that connect with the Lynx Blue Line light rail extension (blue line).

The changes follow a year-long study by CATS called Envision My Ride that used rider feedback and transit planning software to revamp bus routes.

Five routes have been eliminated, including some now served by the Blue Line. Others have been added that travel across town, suburb-to-suburb or reach new destinations.

For the first time, there's a bus to Concord Mills Mall. Other new buses will run from Southpark directly to the Eastland Mall area, and across north Charlotte connecting to the light rail. There's also a new route from Charlotte that connects workers to a big greenhouse operation in Huntersville.

Village Rider buses in north Mecklenburg have been restructured so they now stop at Bryton Town Center in Huntersville. From there, riders can take a connecting bus to the Blue Line Extension.

CATS is also increasing frequency on many routes. In the past, just six of CATS' 70 routes operated at 10- to 15- minute intervals. CATS said the number of frequent routes eventually will triple to 18.

Monday's changes are just the first of a planned series of changes that will mean fewer riders will have to take the bus downtown, then change to a bus that goes out to another part of town - known as a hub-and-spoke system.  

More changes are on the way. CATS said it plans another campaign this spring to gather riders’ feedback.


Details on the bus system changes are in the updated bus system schedule booklet at RideTransit.org

  • 12, 24, 43, 55, 56, 57, 58, & 60 – Trips adjusted for new train schedule at existing LYNX Blue Line stations.       
  • 97, 98, & 99 – Village Riders will be restructured to serve new bus-rail connection at Bryton Town Center.
  • 85X Gastonia Express – New midday roundtrip added weekdays inbound from Gastonia at 11:09am and outbound from Charlotte Transit Center at Noon.
  • 221 E Harris / Idlewild – Will now operate 35 minutes weekdays, 30 minutes Saturdays and hourly Sundays, with trip times adjusted.
  • 3 The Plaza – New crosstown replaces the 204 west of N Tryon and the 23 east of Tipperary to Albemarle Park & Ride.
  • 4 Belmont – Renamed route extended out Plaza to new Sugar Creek Station. Plaza Midwood loop discontinued.
  • 9 Central Ave – Times adjusted. Turnaround shortened at Albemarle Park and Ride. Service on Idlewild Rd N replaced with new 3.
  • 11 N Tryon – Follows 11K to Walmart with earlier, later and weekend trips. 11U discontinued. Mallard Creek Church replaced with new 29.
  • 13 Nevin – New crosstown replaces the 201 out Capps Hill Mine Rd to new Sugar Creek Station via Craighead.
  • 21 Statesville Ave – Renamed route replaces 13 from Uptown but extended out Statesville to Sunset Rd.
  • 22 Graham St – Straightened Uptown and around Norris to LYNX JW Clay Station via WT Harris Blvd. Claude Freeman replaced with new 54. Prosperity Church replaced with new 59.
  • 23 Shamrock – Same route from Uptown to Tipperary, but then Plaza to CPCC Cato, or Grier and Cove Creek when CPCC Cato is closed.
  • 28 Fairview Rd – New crosstown replaces the 29 south of Eastland with new service via Strawberry Hill and Foxcroft to South Park.
  • 29 UNCC/JW Clay – Adjusted via Cove Creek between Grier and Milton Roads. Trips south of Eastland replaced by new 28. IBM Dr replaced by 54. New later and Sunday service replaces 11U.
  • 39 Eastway – New crosstown replaces the 232 south of Kilborne to Grier Hts. Service to Uptown still provided on the 9.
  • 47 Greenhouse Shuttle – New service to Metrolina Greenhouses from JW Clay Station.
  • 50 CIC/URP – Replaces prior morning outbound and evening inbound 54X trips with feeder service to University City Blvd Station.
  • 54 University Research Park – Replaces morning inbound and evening outbound 54X trips from Mallard Creek with new local service to University City Blvd Station and Concord Mills.
  • 59 UNCC/Huntersville – New crosstown from Bryton Town Center to JW Clay Station via Prosperity Church and Mallard Creek Church Roads. Replaces the 22P north of Mallard Creek Rd.
  • 211 Hidden Valley – Connects to Sugar Creek Station instead of Library. Also connects to Tom Hunter LYNX Station. Craighead replaced by new 13.
David Boraks previously covered climate change and the environment for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.